March 2008


Leaving Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition and WEP Behind

I’ve been running two WAPs (Wireless Access Points) for a while now. The second WAP is an old Linksys 802.11b with WEP to let older WiFi devices like my trusty Dell Axim X50v connect to the net. The real issue was the OLPC XO that didn’t have any connectivity except for WiFi. However, with the OLPC XO upgraded to support WPA, I’m beginning to think it is time to let the older WiMo devices lose their network connectivity. The WiMo 6 boxes all handle a WAP with WPA2 turned on fine. And, I guess the 6.1 devices will do as well (famous last words). So, it may finally be time to turn of WEP access around here.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Back to Basics: The Subtler Differences Between Cameraphones and Digital Cameras

Dash cameraphone vs. Canon A710IS

Discussions (and sometimes rants) about camera phone photos usually steer towards pixel count, clarity, and color. However, there are subtler differences between camera phone photos and digital camera photos. Take the two photos above taken using a T-Mobile Dash cameraphone (left) and a Canon Powershot A710IS point-and-shoot digital camera. I’ve resized both photos from their respective 1.3 megapixel and 7 megapixel resolutions so that both images are 320 pixels wide.

The first thing you probably noticed is that when resized to the same width the Dash’s photo is much squarer than the A710IS’. Cameras vary slightly in aspect ratio. So, if something seems slightly odd in your cameraphone photos, compare it to the aspect ratio of the digital camera you normally use. Cropping the camera phone photo to match the aspect ratio you are comfortable with might help.

Although I did not take the two photos at the exact same angle, you can still see that the camera phone photo seems flatter than the digital camera’s. Seeing distinct people (mostly heads here) drops off rapidly after a row or two of tables in the food court. The digital camera has a slightly wider angle of view even though I took both photos from exactly the same spot.

So, if something about your camera phone photo doesn’t seem quite right to you. It may not be the resolution or even the sharpness of the photo. It might be some of the subtler aspects of  camera phone’s imaging characteristics that might be at play for you.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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OLPC XO Build 656 and WiFi WPA

OLPC update

I finally got around to playing with the OLPC XO in an effort to get it to work with WPA on a wireless LAN. It turns out that the build 656 update back in January added WPA support. The OLPC wiki has detailed instructions at…

Olpc-update

…but here’s the condensed version.

  • Open up terminal window (scroll right to see the icon in the menu)
  • su – (the OLPC does not have a root password)
  • olpc-update 656
  • shutdown -r now

The olpc-update command has an option to reboot after a successful update. But. you might want to review the process outputs before rebooting. After rebooting, I selected the WPA enabled access point (I left the old 802.11b WAP in WEP encryption mode in case I couldn’t get WPA working with the OLPC) and typed in my passphrase. The WPA encrypted 801.11g WiFi connection seems to work fine with the OLPC now. Now, if only they would fix the external USB keyboard problem (shift key doesn’t wok).

You can find OLPC WiFi Access Point compatibility information at…

Wireless Access Point Compatibility

Mobile Devices
OLPC

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Windows Mobile 6: Connected Applications

Did you know that there is an Encarta encyclopedia bot that you can talk to on Windows Live Messenger? That’s just one of the tips I wrote about in this new article on Microsoft.com’s Windows Mobile website area.

Introduction to Connected Applications: Applications That Plug You in to the Wireless World

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile 6 Excel Mobile: Transform Your Day with Top Spreadsheet Tips

Here’s another article of mine that is now live in Microsoft.com’s Windows Mobile area…

Transform Your Day with Top Spreadsheet Tips

In addition to some basic and tips, I spent a bit of time to discuss the differences between the versions of Excel Mobile available on Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition and Professional/Classic Edition devices.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile 6 Word Mobile Tips: Write Down Great Thoughts While They Are Fresh

One of the articles I wrote for the Microsoft.com Windows Mobile site just went live. This one has tips and information about Word Mobile for Windows Mobile 6.

Write Down Great Thoughts While They Are Fresh

Let me know if there are other aspects of Word Mobile you’d like expanded on for a future article.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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